China – Immigration Changes to Begin on July 1, 2015

 Shanghai Introduces New Immigration Initiatives

What has changed

The Ministry of Public Security Bureau in Shanghai has publicized new initiatives to simplify visa application processes for foreign employees, particularly those working in high tech and innovative business institutions. The July 1st initiative will also expand eligibility requirements for permanent residence permits, visa waivers and visas on arrival.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Foreign nationals working and residing in Shanghai

Upcoming changes to Shanghai immigration will broaden visa waiver and arrival programs and simplify application and permanent residence procedures, in hope to recognize and retain foreign talent.  Some examples can be found below.

  • Visas upon arrival will be extended to a wider range of senior-level foreign employees and foreign experts. Visa waivers for transiting travelers will be extended from seventy-two (72) hours to 144 hours.
  • Also, to encourage foreign students to remain in Shanghai and contribute to competitive industries, they will be able to seek work  and apply for two (2) year residence permits under the “personal affairs” category.
  • Foreigners who have lived in Shanghai for four (4) straight years are now eligible for permanent residence permits and foreigners who have renewed residence permits twice may apply for a five (5) year residence permit the third time.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • More specifics will be made available upon implementation.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

Visa Exemption for Taiwanese Travelers to China

What has changed

The China State Council has issued a statement to simplify entry requirements for Taiwanese citizens traveling to mainland China. Effective July, 1 2015, Taiwanese travelers will no longer need to apply for travel visas to visit China for tourism or business purposes.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Taiwanese citizens traveling to China

Taiwanese citizens will no longer be required to have a visa endorsement to travel to China, instead they may enter with a Compatriot Travel Certificate (Tai Bao Zheng). A three (3) month single-entry certificate will be available upon arrival or travelers may apply for a five (5) year multiple entry certificate. It is possible that the five (5) year certificate will be replaced later this year with an E-Certificate.  We will keep you informed if this becomes implemented.

These changes do not exempt Taiwanese nationals from work permit requirements. Taiwanese citizens who seek employment will still be required to obtain a work permit and register their temporary residence within twenty-four (24) hours of arrival. If registration requirements are not met, a fine of up to 500 RMB per person can be imposed.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Although visas are no longer required for travel to China, those seeking employment must comply with work and resident permit requirements.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your clients.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.

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